A peek into Casa de Me­mo­ria’s eighth auc­tion

Tales both imag­ined and true from Casa de Me­mo­ria’s Auc­tion 8 col­lec­tion

Red Magazine - - CONTENTS - WORDS BELLE O. MAPA PHO­TOG­RA­PHY RG MEDESTOMAS AND CASA DE ME­MO­RIA

Some­times we chance upon places where time and re­al­ity feel al­tered. At Casa de Me­mo­ria, it’s as if we’ve stepped into a wrin­kle in time where fur­nish­ings from yesteryears look right at home. Here, guests stand at the thresh­old be­tween the past and the present, with only the warm elec­tric lights and the sound of ve­hi­cles com­ing from the street as their an­chors to the present mo­ment.

Casa’s story be­gan last year, when its would-be di­rec­tor An­gelique Lhuil­lier-Mi­randa was seek­ing to fill a hole in the land­scape of Philip­pine auc­tions. Many auc­tion houses had been el­e­vat­ing the lo­cal art mar­ket for the past half-decade, but there was yet to be a place for his­tor­i­cal pieces—those which have made their way to Philip­pine shores from abroad. Casa de Me­mo­ria was cre­ated to be­come a house that deals not merely with an­tiques but also sto­ries—a house that cel­e­brates not only art but also its his­tory. Af­ter all, its name lit­er­ally trans­lates to “house of mem­o­ries.”

Walk­ing into the Casa could feel like walk­ing into a scene straight out of a fairy tale pro­duc­tion, where Belle Époque can­de­labras could come to life at any mo­ment to sing a song, fol­lowed by the danc­ing of sil­ver cut­lery from Por­tu­gal, held by in­vis­i­ble hands par­tak­ing in an in­vis­i­ble feast.

These are some of the pieces in Casa de Me­mo­ria’s lat­est col­lec­tion of over 200 lots to be auc­tioned in Septem­ber. The se­lec­tion for the up­com­ing auc­tion is in­tended for an au­di­ence of in­te­rior de­sign­ers and home dec­o­ra­tors, and was hand­picked by the Casa’s res­i­dent cu­ra­to­rial team.

Also among the se­lec­tion is a set of Cristal­leries des Saint Louis. The set of liquor, wine, and water gob­lets is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of fine lux­ury glass­ware, with its mix of di­a­mond, bevel, pearl, and star-shaped cuts.

Though prove­nance can be un­cer­tain, there still re­mains an air of royal grandeur among the pieces. A vase-shaped neo­clas­si­cal-style gar­ni­ture clock, for ex­am­ple, pre­serves scenes from the past even as it gives the cur­rent time of day. Made in 19th­cen­tury France, it shows a painted illustration of a land­scape scene, where fine French ladies smile amid bronze mounts and gold fo­liage.

Then there are the ob­jects that tell sto­ries of their own. From France, the de­tails carved on a Napoleon III-styled cabi­net re­veal an aes­thetic grounded in pu­rity, with the white doves and lilies in­laid in mother of pearl and bone—stark against the pol­ished ebony. On a late 19th-cen­tury ta­ble, amid the bam­boo, pe­onies, and jas­mine flow­ers is a bird poised to fly, as if in search of a new home. A pair of porce­lain Foo dogs sits upon pedestals, wait­ing for a new master to guard. They hail from

China, glazed in a hu bi pan or tiger skin pat­tern of green, yel­low, and aubergine.

“One thing that strikes out to me in this auc­tion is that in each piece, there is a state­ment, or a mes­sage,” says Casa’s mar­ket­ing man­ager Camille Lhuil­lier.

Ev­i­dently, what sets Casa de Me­mo­ria apart from other lo­cal auc­tion houses is their of­fer­ing of his­tor­i­cal pieces with western as well as old Asian ori­gins. In­te­gral to the auc­tion house is a life­style that in­spires a love for art. As a new ad­di­tion to the auc­tion scene, it aims to rein­vent the tra­di­tional auc­tion house by get­ting its clien­tele to in­vest not just on art­works but on a way of liv­ing. Its fea­tured pieces hold uniquenique sto­ries and char­ac­ters, per­fect for any­body body seek­ing to en­liven their home. The lots are more than just home dé­cor; they seek to o be given util­ity or pur­pose. This is the wayy of “Casa Liv­ing.”

“Even in to­day’s fast world, we can still make our liv­ing space beau­ti­ful,” Lhuil­lier says off the up­com­ing Casa de Me­mo­ria Auc­tion .0008.0008. “And these pieces re­flect beauty. I think it would be al­most im­pos­si­ble to ever see items like these on the mar­ket again.”

Vista Ale­gre porce­lain pot and gilded arm­chair from Por­tu­gal

Left: Li­mo­ges porce­lain serv­ing bowl, a pair of Louis XVI style can­de­labras, and man­tle clock from France; Amer­i­can Bril­liant pe­riod punch bowl; Queen Maria I style white glass bot­tle from Por­tu­gal. Above: Crys­tal glasses and de­canters from France and Por­tu­gal; bar cart in brass and glass from France. Below: Ivory sculp­tures of Guanyin and Shou Lao from China; Vista Ale­gre vase from Por­tu­gal

Ivory sculp­tures, porce­lain Foo dogs, and poly­chrome pierced ce­ramic tea pot from China; Vista Ale­gre vase and tea set from Por­tu­gal; English chi­nois­erie bu­reau cabi­net

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